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New mum scared to cross 'danger road' to get to the park for her baby

PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 November 2019

Sophie Davies and Josh Hicks with their son Samuel Earl Davies-Hicks near the fast traffic on Park Road   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sophie Davies and Josh Hicks with their son Samuel Earl Davies-Hicks near the fast traffic on Park Road Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A new mum says families are 'taking their lives in their hands' to access a popular Ipswich park - and has slammed the council for not addressing safety concerns.

Sophie Davies and  Josh Hicks are concerned about how difficult it is to cross Park Road safely with their son, Samuel  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSophie Davies and Josh Hicks are concerned about how difficult it is to cross Park Road safely with their son, Samuel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sophie Davies and son Samuel, six months, live just metres from Christchurch Park but rarely visit because of the "danger road" that is Park Road.

The 25-year-old said: "There is no safe option, there are no crossings so instead I have to nose the buggy out and wait. And there is no way I would put my son's life in danger like that."
Having sufffered from post natal depression in the wake of Samuel's birth, she is conscious that fresh air is an essential ingredient for staying healthy.

She said: "I'm a new mum and it's so important to get out of the house so I'm not staring at the same four walls all day.

"My son loves the park, he loves the trees so much, he just sits and looks at them and he's just started crawling so getting to touch the grass and trees will be so important for his development."

Sophie Davies and  Josh Hicks are concerned about how difficult it is to cross Park Road safely with their son, Samuel  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSophie Davies and Josh Hicks are concerned about how difficult it is to cross Park Road safely with their son, Samuel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sophie took her safety concerns to county councillor Inga Lockington, who agrees that there is a danger but admitted there is little funding for pedestrian crossings at present.

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Ms Lockington said: "Sophie is right to be concerned. We have tried for years to get a crossing on Park Road.

"But crossings are expensive and we currently cannot afford the cost."

Due to various regulations there cannot be a crossing installed on The Avenue which intersects Park Road due to it being a vehicle access point. There are various other restrictions regarding placing it further along the road by the Westerfield Road junction.

Ms Lockington added: "Hopefully the new restrictions will be agreed and installed as soon as possible which should give more visibility from residents wanting to cross Park Road.

"I know residents who use a Mobility Scooter find it very difficult to cross the road especially if tall vans are parked to close.

"I will keep looking in to if there is any other solution to the crossing problem but Suffolk County Council Highways are always concerned about any ongoing costs.

"We want residents to walk or cycle more but it is not easy if you do not feel safe."

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